C-55 guideline

Executive Summary

The aim of this third edition of IHO Publication C-55 is to present a clear picture of the worldwide coverage of surveys and nautical charts and of the extent of effective organizations for the timely promulgation of navigational safety information. The content of the reports is now held in a live database on the IHO web site from which up to date reports can be extracted at any time. The data base covers the waters of 90% of the coastal States of the world.

Comparing the data in the first and second editions with that presented here, it is clear that significant progress has been made in some areas of great importance to international shipping and to the protection of coastal environments. This has resulted in the main from the firm requirements laid down by the IMO before ships’ routeing systems can be approved. There is also encouraging evidence of regional co-operation to provide modern coverage of maritime shipping routes.

However, in significant areas of the Caribbean Sea, the coastal waters of Africa, the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas, and the Western Pacific Ocean and adjacent seas, there has been little change, and it is here that capacity building efforts must be concentrated.

The IMO and IHO have identified the following key areas of concern arising from the information presented in the C-55 data base:

Major Skill Deficiencies:

Many governments have still to put in place an effective organization for the promulgation of information of importance to safe navigation and the protection of the environment, either as navigational warnings or as inputs to those hydrographic offices with responsibility for charting.

Action is needed to implement the GMDSS in a number of areas, notably in Central America and the Caribbean, most of Africa, and the oceanic areas.

Many coastal states lack the capacity to plan and implement a prioritised survey programme, including top priority routine re-survey of unstable areas along shipping routes and in the approaches to ports.

Failure to apply IHO S-44 criteria in Marine Scientific Research and offshore industrial surveys leads to lost opportunity data for SOLAS charting purposes.

Major Regional Deficiencies:

Significant shortfalls in survey data which were high-lighted in the first edition of C-55 continue to feature in the analysis which follows. There are still large gaps athwart major international shipping routes in the Indian Ocean, S China Sea, W Pacific and adjacent waters. In the Caribbean, some coastal waters of Africa, Australasia, Oceania and the Antarctic, modern surveys, metrication and datum shift to WGS 84 are all urgent requirements in locations which are now frequented by cruise liners.

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Last modified: 15/01/2021 - 04:20